I want to let everyone know that you can see the results of the first tour live here.
The campaign started months ago. However, in the past few weeks it has heated up with candidates getting equal air time on t.v., with the mailing of each candidates program to each and every registered French voter and with the images of the candidates pasted around villages and cities in France (see image below).
Bright and early this morning I walked to the voting booth with my French husband. I saw 12 stacks of paper. Each stack represented one of the 12 French candidates. The French voter simply chooses a paper with the name of his candidate on it and puts it in an envelope. The envelope is placed into a clear locked ballot box. After each envelope is placed into the box a bell is rung and “a voté” (a vote) is called out.
The part that I found interesting was that the week before the election each voter is mailed the candidates names with each candidate’s name printed on one single piece of white paper along with each candidates program. ( L’Amerloque wrote a very nice post explaining this and the voting process. It was helpful to me. ) The voter can take the paper with the name of the person they are voting for to the voting office. However, most people leave these at home. Once they get to the voting office they grab about four names so that it is hard to say who they are voting for and only in the secrecy of the booth do they then place the name of their candidate into the envelope.
Vilay explained to me that he grabs a couple from the right and a couple from the left with only one of the names being the candidate he has chosen to vote for.
Afterwards, everyone takes a nice Sunday stroll. Elections are always on Sunday because most people in France do not work on Sunday. At noon we sat watching to see the turn out of the elections up until that point.
It was 31 percent. The highest ever.
I will be glued in front of the t.v. with my husband to hear who the two remaining canidates are. Two weeks from today will be the final election for the French President of 2007.
If I could have voted today I have no idea who it would have been for.